In our last blog post, we talked about clogged fuel injectors. In this post, let’s continue the conversation about your vehicle’s fuel system and talk about the fuel pump. Basically, the fuel pump draws gasoline out of the tank and pumps it into the engine. Older fuel pumps used vacuum pressure to do this; newer fuel pumps have electric motors. Fuel pumps don’t last forever. Here are some signs DOC Auto may need to replace your fuel pump because it is going bad.
As you can imagine, if the fuel pump cannot move fuel from the tank to the engine, your automobile’s performance will suffer. The most common problem with fuel pumps, aside from motor failure, is they can get clogged just as the fuel injectors can. In this case, the fuel pump’s relief valve can get stuck open, closed, or partially closed. Should this happen, you might notice engine performance issues, such as
- Your engine sputtering the faster you go because it isn’t getting enough fuel
- Losing power when you drive under stressful conditions, such as towing heavy loads
- Your engine surging, speeding up and slowing down unexpectedly
- A sudden and significant drop in gas mileage
All of these symptoms of a faulty fuel pump can be attributed to either too much gas flowing into the engine or not enough gas. For example, if your car, crossover, SUV, or truck has suddenly become a gas hog, chances are the fuel pump is clogged and the relief valve is stuck in the open position. When this happens, gas consistently flows into the engine where it is burned up.
Other Signs of a Bad Fuel Pump
Performance issues aren’t the only clue you have a problem with your vehicle’s pump. Another common headache is the fuel pump’s electric motor will overheat when the parts have worn down, which they will do over time. The excess heat is transferred to your engine and your car will overheat. Also, if the fuel pump has completely malfunctioned, you may not be able to start your vehicle at all.
All is not lost. At the first sign of trouble, test your fuel pressure yourself with a gauge you can buy at an auto parts store or bring your automobile into DOC Auto. Our shop is located in Fredericksburg, VA, and we’d be happy to test your fuel pump and replace it if necessary. We can also inspect your fuel system. Call us today at 540-779-9814.